Oxford United have received a triple boost ahead of today’s match with Exeter City.
Sean Rigg, Deane Smalley and Simon Heslop all missed Wednesday’s 1-0 win over arch rivals Swindon Town in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
But the trio are all in the squad as the U’s get back to the bread and butter of npower League Two.
United go into the game in third place, one position behind their visitors.
And first-team coach Andy Melville has challenged the U’s players to replicate their derby-winning performance.
“We have some big personalities in there and you need your senior pros to make sure we go again and have the same attitude and desire. That’s all we can ask for,” he said.
“The players came to the fore in a big game (against Swindon) and it will be no different against Exeter.
“It’s going to be tough, but we have to do it right.”
United have been impressive in front of their own fans so far this season, taking maximum points in league games and knocking out League One sides Swindon and Bourne-mouth in cup competitions.
Skipper Jake Wright sees no reason why the run should not continue, providing they stick to the game plan.
He said: “If we turn up and play well we should be beating every team in this league.
“We just need to make sure we all do our jobs.”
Alfie Potter, who came off the bench to score the winner against Swindon, is expected to start.
Exeter’s only injury worry is captain Dan Coles, who mis-sed the JPT penalty shoot-out defeat by Aldershot on Tuesday with a groin problem.
Oxford Utd : from Clarke, Batt, Raynes, Wright, Capaldi, Chapman, Boateng, Forster-Caskey, Potter, Constable, Rigg, Pittman, Craddock, Heslop, Smalley, McGinty, Marsh, Brown.
Exeter City: from Krysiak, Amankwaah, Baldwin, Coles, Woodman, Sercombe, Bennett, Oakley, Davies, Gow, Cureton, Evans, Tully, Doherty, Frear, O’Flynn, Bauza, Moore-Taylor, Keohane, Chamberlain.
Meanwhile, speculation over Chris Wilder ’s future continued last night with U’s boss well-backed at 4-1 for the vacant role at Chesterfield.
As reported in Monday’s Oxford Mail, both Coventry and the Spireites are keeping close tabs on Wilder.